News from the State Capitols
Ten state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session, and New York is in special session. To date, AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) has tracked over 1,200 bills in 2010 at all levels of government. For the latest information on the state and federal bills being tracked by the Government Relations (GR) Department, visit our 2010 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated daily, provides the latest bill text, status, and Legislative Alerts posted by the AKC.
For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com.
Here are some highlights of the bills we are currently tracking:
Michigan – Senate Bill 1503 seeks to regulate “commercial breeders”, defined as those who possess or maintain 25 or more unaltered dogs or cats over four months of age in whole or in part for the purpose of sale. It is unclear if this would include co-ownerships. Breeders are subject to inspection and cannot sell a dog until it has received all vaccinations including rabies. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Bioeconomy. AKC is closely monitoring this legislation and will provide more information should the bill gain traction.
Missouri – A statutory initiative, known as Proposition B or “The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act” will be on the November 2010 ballot. The initiative contains a 50-intact female ownership limit. The measure also includes a number of other standard care and conditions requirements for commercial breeders, which are already part of existing Missouri commercial breeder law that the AKC supports. The Missouri Federation of Animal Owners and other groups opposed to this initiative lost a court challenge to change the measure’s language earlier this year. AKC GR has issued several Legislative Alerts on this matter and continues to work with the Missouri federation in opposition to this initiative effort. Read the AKC’s official statement on this ballot measure.
New York – Assembly Bill 11684 seeks to ban devocalization of dogs and cats unless the procedure is medically necessary to treat or relieve an illness, disease, injury, or congenital abnormality that is causing (or may cause) harm to the animal. Before performing the procedure, the veterinarian must submit a report to the clerk of the municipality providing the reason for the devocalization and any diagnostic opinions or test results that prove it is necessary. No one may sell a devocalized animal unless they have a copy of these records. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
Ohio – The Ohio General Assembly remains in recess and has not yet announced when it will reconvene to consider legislation. The American Kennel Club is tracking two bills of interest in Ohio:
House Bill 55 – This bill, which revises penalties and clarifies Ohio’s animal cruelty provisions, was amended on the House floor to remove breed-specific language (specifically, the term “pit bull”) from the state’s vicious dog definition. The amendment was added after House Bill 79, which sought to remove the breed-specific language, was stalled in a House committee. Read more about House Bill 79 and Ohio’s vicious dog law. The bill now goes to the State Senate.
House Bill 570 – This legislation seeks to provide an alternative to Senate Bill 95 (see below). It defines a commercial breeder as anyone who maintains at least five dogs used for breeding; promotes, advertises, operates, supervises, or manages the business of breeding dogs; or sells, leases, trades, barters or auctions dogs. The bill also limits ownership to 50 dogs, bans debarking, ear cropping, and tail docking, and allows for inspections and seizure of animals regardless of whether the kennel owner is present. The bill was introduced on August 23, and has not yet been assigned to committee. AKC GR is closely monitoring this legislation and has posted a legislative update online.
Senate Bill 95 – This bill, which seeks to regulate “high volume” dog breeding in Ohio, was passed by the Senate State & Local Government & Veterans Affairs Committee. It defines “high volume dog breeder” as one who produces at least 9 litters and sells at least 60 puppies and/or adult dogs per year. Numerous amendments have been added to address many of the AKC’s concerns, including ensuring breeder representation on the new Kennel Control Authority Board and eliminating the limits on breeding ages. Other problematic provisions remain, however, including a definition of “kennel” that could be interpreted to mean any owner of an intact dog and problematic standards for “high volume breeders". Read the latest Legislative Alert for more information on SB 95.
Pennsylvania – Senate Bill 1417 transfers all duties prescribed in the state’s “Dog Law” (including individual dog and kennel licensing, penalties, etc.) from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. AKC GR is closely monitoring this legislation.
Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection conducted a series of public forums in September to elicit feedback on proposed regulations for dog breeders who sell at least 25 dogs from more than 3 litters per year. This would include co-ownerships. The rules include exacting primary enclosure requirements and other problematic provisions. The AKC sent letters to the Department expressing concerns and notified Wisconsin clubs of the hearings. Click here to read the proposed regulations. For the latest information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department.